Agrarian Reform from Uraso

Aldo Ramadhan

North Luwu (kpa.or.id) – KPA Secretary General, Dewi Kartika visited Uraso, Mappadeceng Sub-district, North Luwu Regency, South Sulawesi on Friday (22/2)

Uraso Village is one the villages located on the north of the provinces, 9 kilometers away from Masamba Sub-distric, the Government Center of North Luwu Regency.

The purpose for this visit is to directly observe the development of agrarian reform movements in Uraso Village. Other than that, Uraso Village is one of thee location for the development of Agrarian Reform Advanced Village (DAMARA).

In that 2 days visit, Dewi Kartika was accompanied by Syamsudin Wahid, Head of KPA Organizational Strengthening Department; Rizky Arimbi, South Sulawesi KPA Regional Coordinator and other KPA South Sulawesi Officials.

So far, regarding the ownership arrangement and land usage has been carried out independently by the villagers.

 “The people has taken the full control of the lands and cultivated it in the form of people’s plantation. But they haven’t yet possessed the legal means of those lands’ ownership”, said Syamsudin.

Syamsudin continues, “The cultivators have started to worked on the arrangement of land use divided by various designation. Some are used for public and social facilities.”

“Some are allocated for collective lands, so does the production that has already been underway. It’s just that in regards of marketing issues so far the people are still depended on the middlemen or wholesalers” He added.

Since 2017, KPA has proposed the locations of Lokasi Prioritas Reforma Agraria (LPRA/Agrarian Reform Priority Locations) to the government. This proposal is a correction for the implementation of agrarian reform that so far has been considered as misdirected.

On layman’s term, LPRA is a list of locations of cultivation for the KPA members whose status are in conflicts, be it with the state or companies. Obviously, those locations must be in accordance with the principles and foundations of genuine agrarian reform so that it must be made into the priorities of the government.

Uraso Village is one from hundreds of LPRA locations that has bbeen submitted to the government. These lands of 413 Ha have been cultivated by 269 Peasants Households (Rumah Tangga Petani/RTP). The villagers have changed the crops types that were formerly planted with palms by the government to jengkol, durian, rambutan and peppers. Other than providing additional values to the peasants’ economy, this change also influenced the land fertility and environmental preservation.

Currently, the cultivators or villagers have established the Koperasi Lembaga Keuangan Mikro (KLKM/Cooperative of Micro Financial Institution) of Likun Dengen. Through this cooperative, the peasants may be able to develop their agricultural production.

In the beginning, these lands belonged to the indigenous people of Tabang, the ancestors of the Uraso Villagers that has been managed for generations. The conflict broke in 1995, when PTPN XIV (State Forestry Company) coming to take over their lands.

That state company claimed the ownership of those lands with the Rights to Cultivate Permit (HGU/Hak Guna Usaha) as their supporting evidence issued through Indonesian Republic Government Regulation No. 19/1995 and notary act from Harun Kamil, SH No. 47 on March 11th 1996.

The people reacted by opposing that decision since they weren’t involved in the process of the HGU permit implementation, even the loss expenses were never provided to them.

Since that time, various demanding & opposing actions were done continuously. Some of that were demonstrations in the front of North Luwu Regional Government Office and discussion from the company’s party. Although it is still recorded as HGU Permit of PTPN XIV, the fact of the matter is that lands have returned to be the cultivated lands of the villagers.

In the future, KPA will organize trainings to increase the capacity of the villagers.

“Our hope is that through the development works of DAMARA, the people will be more productive and structured to actualize the food sovereignty in Uraso Village. This is the vital role of these training for increasing the capacity (and quality) of the peasants especially the post production and marketing strategy”, ended Syamsudin. (AR)

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